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Is there a better time to visit Italy than in the fall? The summer madness has died down, yet Italy remains warm and inviting. In the town of Alba, in the Piedmont region, in the northwestern corner of Italy, is a food-festival lover's delight. The region is much less touristed than its Tuscan neighbor.
From October 6 to November 18 in the town of Alba, each weekend it's all about truffles. Yes, truffles, the key ingredient of many a gourmet meal. Food lovers from all over the world travel to Piedmont to be in "Italian gastronomic heaven." Literally worth their weight in culinary gold. Whether over pasta, infused in olive oil, added to risotto. People will a small fortune for this highly prized food delight.
Truffles - A kin to the mushroom family
All types of truffles are related to mushrooms and are known as hypogynous fungi. Like mushrooms, truffles have a system of root-like structures but unlike mushrooms, truffles never emerge from the surface. Instead truffles are formed below the soil close to a tree's root systems and similar to how Porcini mushrooms live off a nearby tree's nutrients, truffles are the "fruit" of another fungus/tree relationship. The truffle could be considered a parasite, since it is not known if the tree receives any benefits from this relationship. The fungus that makes truffles can only survive in certain soil conditions such as those created in stands of oak, willow and linden trees. Once attached to a root, the fungus will produce one truffle per year, with each type of tree lending a distinctive aroma and flavor to the truffle.
Besides a worship to the truffle. During the festival find a food market, an Italian food fair, restaurants serving delectable Italian meals. There's even a truffle auction.
The major city of the Piedmont region is Turin. Daily flights from most major European cities and an extensive train system connects Turin from all parts of Italy.
Photo By Juan Luis
Visit the international white truffle fair web site for more information: www.fieradeltartufo.org
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Nick Kontis started out as a world traveler at an early age traveling back and forth between California and Greece every summer. But it was a backpacking trip around the world at age 24 that proved to be a life changing experience. After traveling by car, train, plane, bike and, boat around the world, it would be this trip of a lifetime that would lead to a life as a travel entrepreneur and world traveler. Nick has been on both radio and television. Featured on Arthur Frommer’s television show, and referred by Lonely Planet writers. Frequently mentioned as the “father of around the world airfares.” Arthur Frommer once said, “If Jules Verne were alive today he would use Nick to go around the world in 80 days.” Nick and his various travel companies have sent over 10,000 people taking their dream trip through airfare discounts of as much as 50% off the airlines published fares. Now Nick promotes travel through his World Travel List and ‘Trip Rambler’ by World Travel List. Having traveled to over 80 countries Nick hopes to inspire others to travel the world. Follow Nick's "passion for travel" on the World Travel List.